One Bowl Simple Vanilla Layer Cake / Photo by Cheyenne Cohen / Katie Workman /

I have a recipe for a vanilla cake in The Mom 100 Cookbook that I’ve made, oh, 50 times.  And it always turns out great.  This is just a little bit of a variation on that recipe, with very slightly thinner layers, and it uses all-purpose flour (which I always have) vs. cake flour (which I tend to run out of, and forget to replenish).  It also has less butter, so it’s a less rich cake.  Do what that info what you will. 

One Bowl Simple Vanilla Layer Cake / Photo by Cheyenne Cohen / Katie Workman /

Testing a Cake for Doneness

But it’s still lovely and moist – start checking the cakes to see if they are done at about 25 minutes.  Use a wooden skewer or a toothpick, insert it into the middle of the cake and when it comes out clean, or with a tiny crumb or two attached, then it is done.  The cake will also have pulled away from the sides of the pan slightly, and may have a bit of golden brown at the edges.

One Bowl Simple Vanilla Layer Cake / Photo by Cheyenne Cohen / Katie Workman /

Buttering and Flouring the Pans

I am definitely one of those people who wants to skip the annoying step of buttering the pans, cutting out the parchment, inserting it into the pans, then buttering that and flouring up the whole thing.  It’s a boring thing to do, when you just want to get to the part where you are whipping sugar into the butter.

One Bowl Simple Vanilla Layer Cake / Photo by Cheyenne Cohen / Katie Workman /

Just do it.  Because the only thing more annoying that that is flipping a cake out of a pan and seeing a chunk of it still stuck to the bottom.  THAT’S annoying.

A simple vanilla cake recipe (a one bowl recipe!); 10 minutes into the oven for a from-scratch cake! Perfect for all kinds of celebrations.

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One Bowl Simple Vanilla Layer Cake / Photo by Cheyenne Cohen / Katie Workman /

Frosting Choices

You can use any kind of frosting you like, chocolate, vanilla, peanut butter, caramel, you name it.  Try pairing this One Bowl Simple Vanilla Layer Cake with any of these frostings:

One Bowl Simple Vanilla Layer Cake / Photo by Cheyenne Cohen / Katie Workman /

Other Cake Recipes:

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One Bowl Simple Vanilla Layer Cake

You probably have all of the ingredients for this basic but delicious cake in your house at this very moment.
Yield: 12 People


  • ½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter at room temperature, plus more for greasing the pans
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour plus more for flouring the pans
  • 1 ½ cups sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract


  • Preheat the oven to 350°F. Butter two 8-inch round cake pans, then cut out rounds of parchment to fit into the bottoms of the pans and insert them. Butter the parchment, and then flour the bottoms and sides of all of the pans.
  • In a large bowl (an upright mixer if you have one…otherwise use an electric mixer), beat the butter and sugar together until well combined. Beat in the eggs one at a time. Beat in the baking powder, salt and flour until combined, then beat in the milk and vanilla, mixing until the batter is smooth.
  • Divide the batter evenly between the two pans, and bake for 25 to 32 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cakes comes out clean. Cool the cakes in their pans on wire racks for 15 minutes, then turn the cakes out of the pans, and finish cooling them upright on the wire racks.
  • Frost with your favorite frosting.

Nutrition Information

Calories: 271.1kcal | Carbohydrates: 42.35g | Protein: 4.26g | Fat: 9.59g | Saturated Fat: 5.61g | Cholesterol: 63.29mg | Sodium: 123.63mg | Potassium: 131.64mg | Fiber: 0.56g | Sugar: 26.16g | Vitamin A: 328.7IU | Calcium: 63.41mg | Iron: 1.21mg

The nutrition values are provided as an estimate. It is not intended as a substitute for the advice of a qualified healthcare professional.

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    1. I think perhaps you should check the temperature of your oven, and also check for hot and cool spots! And did you use very dark baking pans? That has never been the case when I have made this cake!

  1. What is a “butter stick”? How do you measure butter in a cup? Would love to get the weight, these seem measurements that don’t work in the UK/Australia

  2. My go to yellow cake! Every birthday it’s either chocolate or yellow cake, chocolate or vanilla frosting. I looked through and baked quite a bit of yellow cakes before settling on this fantastic recipe.

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